Euro Area Inflation Unexpectedly Misses Despite Sliding Unemployment

The euro stumbled, dropping to session lows on Thursday after Eurostat reported that despite a welcome decline in Europe’s unemployment rate to 8.8%, the lowest level in 9 years, Eurozone inflation missed expectations, rising from 1.4% to 1.5%, below t…

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Hungary’s Ruling Party Hands Out Book Targeting George Soros

Authored by Jacob Bojesson via The Daily Caller,

Hungary’s ruling party is stepping up its campaign against billionaire investor George Soros by distributing a book that accuses the financier of pursuing a plan to flood Europe with migrants.

The book, titled “George Soros,” is written by Andreas von Rétyi – a German author known for pushing conspiracy theories about UFOs and what caused the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on the U.S.

 

Fidesz, a conservative party led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, plans to distribute 5,000 copies to local politicians across the country.

 

“The book is a detailed and accurate piece,” Fidesz spokesman János Halász told broadcaster RTL Klub, according to newspaper Die Welt.

The Orban administration launched an anti-Soros campaign in the spring to halt the Hungarian-born investor’s operations in the country.

The streets of Budapest were filled with posters and billboards of the Hungarian-born billionaire with the caption “Don’t let Soros get the last laugh!”

Hungarian government poster portraying financier George Soros and saying “Don’t let George Soros have the last laugh” is seen at an underground stop in Budapest.

The campaign claims that Soros wants a 1 million refugee influx to Europe per year.

“The Hungarian standpoint is that illegal migration is clearly a matter of national security,” Orban’s spokesman, Zoltan Kovacs, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in a recent interview.

 

“We shall mobilize the political and legal power of the Hungarian state against anyone who undermines the security of Hungary – regardless of their origins, religious affiliation or wealth.”

Soros struck back at Orban by describing his “mafia state” as “one which maintains a facade of democracy.”

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Thanksgiving Weekend – Older Millennials (25-34) Powered Surge In Online Spending And Shift To Mobile

While online spending surged, the overall picture for Thanksgiving weekend spending was more mixed as the traditional “bricks and mortar” retailers continued to struggle. Nevertheless, overall spending was about 4% higher. The National Reta…

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Fed’s Kashkari Responds To Zero Hedge: “The Fed’s Job Is Not To Protect Investors”

Former Goldmanite and current Minneapolis Fed president, Neel Kashkari, conducted another #AskNeel session on Twitter where the dovish FOMC voter (he was the only one to dissent to the Fed’s rate hike decision earlier this year) received numerous quest…

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Surging Household Debt Is Forcing More New Yorkers To Rely On Food Pantries

As US stock benchmarks smash through one record high after the next – a central-bank driven phenomenon that disproportionately benefits the wealthy at the expense of the middle-class and working poor – booming credit-card debt is forcing more New…

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About That Sensationalist Bitcoin Electrical Consumption Story

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

Check the context before uncritically accepting sensationalist conclusions.

Let’s start with a primer on how to write a sensationalist story that can be passed off as “journalism:”

1. Locate credible-sounding data that can be de-contextualized, i.e. sensationalized.

 

2. Present the data as “fact” rather than data that requires verification by disinterested researchers.

 

3. Exaggerate the data as much as possible and set the tone and context with emotionally laden words: “shocking,” etc.

 

4. Select a context that sensationalizes the conclusion.

Now let’s take a look at a story that has been swallowed whole, with little to no fact-checking or disinterested inquiry: bitcoin’s electrical consumption, i.e. the electricity consumed by mining/maintaining bitcoin’s blockchain.

One Bitcoin Transaction Now Uses as Much Energy as Your House in a Week

Let’s start by stipulating that energy consumption is a consequential matter worthy of serious inquiry. It’s important to measure the energy consumption of all the systems that operate within the current status quo, and compare the consumption levels of these systems.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the story.

Right off the bat, the context we’re offered to grasp the enormity of bitcoin’s mining consumption is the electrical consumption of Nigeria, a nation, we’re breathlessly informed, with 186 million residents. Wow! That’s a crazy amount of electrical consumption, right?

Let’s do some very basic fact-checking before we accept sensationalist conclusions, shall we?

Nigeria consumes about 24 billion kWh annually, while the U.S. consumes 3,913 billion kWh annually.

So Nigeria uses 3/5th of 1% (0.6%) of the electricity the U.S. consumes.

Now let’s compare that electrical consumption with the amount of electricity consumed in the U.S. by residential devices and chargers on stand-by, i.e. appliances, devices, chargers, gizmos, etc. that aren’t in use and doing no work but that are still consuming electricity.

About a quarter of all residential energy consumption is used on devices in idle power mode, according to a study of Northern California by the Natural Resources Defense Council. That means that devices that are “off” or in standby or sleep mode can use up to the equivalent of 50 large power plants’ worth of electricity and cost more than $19 billion in electricity bills every year.

source: Just How Much Power Do Your Electronics Use When They Are ‘Off’? (May 7, 2016, New York Times)

(Please read the article to find out just how much power the 50+ gadgets in your home consume doing absolutely zero work.)

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, annual residential electrical consumption totals 1,410 billion kWh.

So 25% (the amount of household electricity consumed by stand-by devices) of 1,410 billion equals 352 billion kWh consumed annually by residential appliances and devices on stand-by in the U.S.

Now let’s compare the annual electrical consumption of Nigeria (24 B kWh) with the annual residential electrical consumption of devices on stand-by in the U.S.

The annual electrical consumption of Nigeria (24 B kWh) is 6.8% of the annual electrical consumed by household devices on stand-by in the U.S. That means the supposed consumption of bitcoin mining is 1/14th of the power lost to residential devices on stand-by in the U.S., devices doing essentially nothing.

Now let’s add in all the appliances and devices in government and private-sector offices on stand-by. Let’s conservatively estimate another 150 B kWh lost to all this stuff on stand-by.

Now let’s multiply the total of electricity lost to stuff on stand-by mode (doing no work whatsoever) in the U.S., 500 B kWh annually, by five, since the U.S. consumes roughly 20% of all electricity globally.

Electricity production 2016 (Enerdata)

The United States’ share of world energy consumption (EIA)

This gives us an estimate of all the electrical power lost to electrical appliances and devices on stand-by globally every year: 2,500 billion kHh. 1% of that wasted electricity is 25 billion kHh. If you reckon this seems high, let’s shave these totals to 1,500 billion kHh and 15 billion kHh.

Let’s go back to the story about bitcoin’s consumption of electricity which tells us “a shocking 215 kilowatt-hours (KWh) of juice (is) used by miners for each Bitcoin transaction.”

But then a few paragraphs down, we discover the electricity per transaction might only be 77 kWh– nobody really knows for sure. Hmm. 77 is 36% of 215, so the “shocking” consumption might overstate actual consumption by a factor of three?

Let’s choose a number between 77 and the “shocking” 215, since nobody really knows what the real number is: shall we guesstimate 135, or 2/3 of the high guesstimate? That would drop the annual consumption of bitcoin mining from 24 B kWh annually to 15 B kWh, less than 1% of the electricity wasted annually on stand-by devices doing no work whatsoever.

And so, um, bitcoin mining is a threat to the planet because it consumes less than 1% of all the electricity squandered by appliances and devices on stand-by? If we want to stop wasting so much energy, perhaps we should start by mandating near-zero stand-by power consumption for the hundreds of millions of devices which are not in use that are nonetheless sucking up electricity every second of every day.

Here’s another thought: check the context before uncritically accepting sensationalist conclusions.

*  *  *

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com. Check out both of my new books, Inequality and the Collapse of Privilege ($3.95 Kindle, $8.95 print) and Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform ($3.95 Kindle, $8.95 print, $5.95 audiobook) For more, please visit the OTM essentials website.

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Great News From McKinsey: Robots Will Take 800 Million Jobs Worldwide By 2030

Stories about robots taking over from humans have become prevalent. Recently we’ve written about a new Manhattan Shake Shack replacing human cashiers with robots, killer robots (a.k.a. lethal autonomous weapons systems), a Californian real estate…

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FANG Shareholders Lost Almost 20 Times More Than Bitcoin Investors Today

While all eyes were told to focus on the cryptocurrency chaos over here… the widely-owned ‘no-brainers’ FANG stocks suffered total losses that were almost 20 times larger than the ‘losers’ in Bitcoin

At the end of the day – amid all the turmoil – Bitcoin ended the day down over $3 billion in market cap…

 

However, FANG stocks suffered their biggest market cap loss ever – losing almost $60 billion today…

Surely – as Joseph Stiglitz warned, investors should be banned from trading FANG stocks – if they can lose this much money in a day, the trading of these shares seems like something that should be heavily regulated.

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Turmoil…

GDP surged above expectations, Matt Lauer fired, Crude carnage, Semis slaughtered, Momo massacred, Nasdaq knackered, Precious metals pummeled, Bond bloodbath, and Bitcoin bounced and trounced… But everyone loves Trannies!

 

Spot the odd one out… (biggest divergence between Transports and Nasdaq since Nov 2009) – Dow and Small Caps closed at record highs…

 

Futures show the moves this week in a little more context…

(NOTE – today was the biggest divergence between The Dow and Nasdaq in over 5 months)

Today was Trannies biggest day since Nov 2011 to a new record high…

 

A look at Nasdaq and Bitcoin suggest some relationship in the collapse – while Nasdaq broke first, at around 1012amET both suddenly plunged together…

 

Is Nasdaq playing catchdown to FX carry?

And bonds?

 

Nasdaq VIX spiked above 16…

 

And Dow VIX spiked today even as Dow rallied…

 

Financials extended Powell-hype gains…

 

Massive rotation from momentum to value today… (biggest momo factor plunge since election)

 

NOTE – Today’s 3.9% dispersoin between Value and Momo is the biggest since the election…

 

Were investors rotating out of Nvidia and into the underlying?

 

FANG Stocks suffered their biggest daily drop since Feb 2016…to one-month lows…

 

The Philly Semi Index crashed today…biggest single-day drop since Brexit (June 2016)

 

…and just happens to have occurred as the index finally cleared the 2000 dotcom peak

 

 

Bonds were whacked today – while Chinese yields fell modestly, German and US 10Y Yields spiked notably (we do note that Alibaba dropped a $7 billion multi-part bond today which may be a factor)

 

All yields are up on the week…

 

10Y yield back at one-month highs…

 

The yield curve steepened most since September…

 

The Dollar whipsawed around today but ended practically unchanged…

 

Copper continued to collapse – dropping to its lowest since October 10th…

 

Crude carnaged (as did RBOB) on ‘sell-the-leaked-news’ from OPEC (Saudi officials were not worried)…

 

Gold and Silver were slammed lower – silver back at its lowest since Oct 6th…

 

Finally, let’s focus on Bitcoin – having broken $11,000 this morning, it surged on to $11,485, before collapsing to $8595.. then bouncing hard to $10,485, before losing $10k again into the US equity market close…

 

And while everyone i talking about the drop in cryptocurrencies – today’s $60 billion drop in FANG market cap is the largest ever…

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54 Things You Didn’t Know About Natural Gas

Authored by Stuart Parnell via OilPrice.com,
Every once in a while, I will realize that I have spent way too much time talking about oil, complaining about pipelines, Permania, free money and the impending “End of Big Oil because of Electric Vehi…

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